#TasteNiagara, “Up Close and Savory”
We were invited to tour Niagara, USA side and experience #TasteNiagara for a weekend, an area that we had not visited previously. We were eager to learn what the area had to offer.
Friday evening we started off with dinner at Savor restaurant, which is part of the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute. The staff at Savor are made up of current students at NFCI and industry professionals.
Appetizers included the meze hummus platter, charcuterie and pizza, which was complemented with Schulz Brut wine. Afterwards we were treated to the roasted peaches (different and delicious) and chilean sea bass. For dessert, a sample platter of mini pastries was offered to us. The salted caramel tart was a personal favourite. We left Savor feeling satisfied.
After dinner, we headed to Niagara Falls State Park and Cave of the Winds. We were given sandals and yellow ponchos to wear so we wouldn’t get soaked. We climbed up to the Hurricane deck which took us right under the illuminated Falls, and yes, we did get kind of wet, but it was worth it. We watched the amazing fireworks display, which takes place throughout the summer season. We got to keep the sandals as our souvenir.
Saturday was an action packed day. We went back to Niagara Falls State Park to go the legendary Maid of the Mist. Once again, back to wearing the poncho, but this time we got to wear a stylish blue one. Maid of the Mist was exhilarating and it was incredible being so close to Niagara Falls. And we got wet, again. But, it was totally fun!
We then went over to Lockport and the Erie Canal. The Sweet Chalk Festival was going on with chalk artists creating stunning art. We loved the Bill Murray art and the 3D art. There was a market as well with local vendors selling Niagara wines and food items. After lunch featuring tasty wraps and smoothies from Sweet Rides, we made room for sponge candy ice cream from Lake Effects Artisanal Ice Cream. So yummy.
We walked along the Erie Canal and got a private tour of the Lockport Cave, which is actually a 1700 ft. water power tunnel blasted from solid rock. It was quite dark in the cave and we had a chance to go on the boat ride to the end of the tunnel.
Afterwards we went on the Erie Canal cruise through the Lockport Locks system. Our boat was called the African Queen and it was very cozy. We went through one of the locks and it was interesting being on a boat being lifted up 25 feet.
Our final stop was Old Fort Niagara in Youngstown, which was originally built by the French in 1726. It was the oldest continuously occupied military site in North America. The British took it over and then it eventually it was handed to the Americans. It is a beautiful castle and we got to see how military officers actually lived. Our tour guide was a costumed French Officer who gave us the inside scoop on life at the fort.
We sat down to dine in the officer’s dining hall. For appetizers, we had meat board and cheese plate from Carmelo’s, paired with a delicious cider from Blackbird Cider Works. For our main we had delicious roasted pig, pulled pork, and salads from Dispenza’s, This was paired with wines from Arrowhead Spring Vineyards and Black Willow Winery. We tried Odin’s Mead from Black Willow (our first time ever) and we loved the honey sweetness. Although we were too full at this point, we couldn’t resist trying the Mile-High Apple Pie from Village Bake Shoppe.
At sunset, we saw the cannon re-enactment by the French, British, and Canadian officers and they actually fired a cannon for us.
We loved our time getting to know Niagara USA and it truly was a wonderful experience.
(photos by sari)
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